Why be a Member of PRSA Oregon?
By Judy Asbury, APR
Why are you a member of PRSA and PRSA Oregon? Why pay the dues, why get involved?
I asked myself that recently. What am I hoping to learn as a member, what am I hoping to gain?
I came away with these answers: 1) I wanted to find a community of my people here in Oregon and 2) I wanted to learn from them to keep informed on new communications tactics and strategic approaches, and 3) I wanted to give back and help others grow as leaders in this dynamic field.
Perhaps you have a similar list. Polls of our members show that members want networking opportunities, they want professional development opportunities and they want to grow as leaders.
As a communicator today, I often feel like I am asked to do the impossible: to communicate in such a way as to build trust and good feelings for my organization during a time when no one is really happy. (I am beginning to hate the word unprecedented.) We are all struggling with fear and uncertainty, and with injustice that we have ignored as a society.
My job is to help my organization confront and honestly deal with the concerns of our stakeholders. At the same time, I focus on telling the good news of what my organization is doing. How to do both sometimes feels like dancing on the edge of knife.
As a member of PRSA Oregon, when I participate with my colleagues on committees and join in webinars, both from our Chapter and from National, I am reminded that I am not alone in facing these challenges. Someone has experienced what I’m going through right now — and I learn from them. Learn from their mistakes as well as their successes.
As a member, I rely on PRSA National to keep me up to date on tactics and issues. The daily email on Issues and Trends in the news is like my own R&D department. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time to research my own communications field – I am too busy doing the background work on whatever issue is impacting my organization.
So, when you are thinking about your dues; when you are considering if you have time to get involved, ask yourself what you want out of your PRSA Oregon membership. If you want to learn, if you want to meet your “people” and be supported by them, if you want to grow your career, this is the place.
There is no better time to be an active member than in today’s uncertain climate. And, if you really want to get the most out of your membership, volunteer. We can use your ideas and your knowledge – and maybe you can use ours too.